Telemedicine Visits May Qualify For FMLA Leave

In a December 29, 2020, Field Assistance Bulletin, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) addressed whether telemedicine visits qualify employees for FMLA leave.

For a telemedicine visit to qualify for FMLA, it needs to meet the following criteria:

  • an examination, evaluation, or treatment by a health care provider;
  • be permitted and accepted by state licensing authorities; and,
  • generally, should be performed by video conference.

Finally, they state that communication methods that do not meet the above criteria (e.g., a simple telephone call, letter, email, or text message) are insufficient to satisfy the criteria of an in-person visit.

Any process to determine if a visit to a doctor is covered by FMLA, be it by telehealth or in person, should be consistent with FMLA regulations and the employer’s FMLA policies. Employers Council can help; please call us with questions.